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Step 5: Import Vista 8 Sections Into Blackboard Learn as Courses

The import sections process is completed using the LMSImport command, the snapshot.xml file resulting from Step 2: Export All Data From Vista 8, and the content packages resulting from Step 4: Export Section Content Packages From Vista 8.

If you do not want to import the content for a particular section, delete the content package for that section from the migrateFromVista directory before completing this procedure. The course will be created in Blackboard Learn, but the Vista 8 content will not be imported.

Enterprise Edition clients only: Before you begin, make sure that you have created a data source key for the sections being imported. To learn more, see Data Source Keys.

Complete this procedure using the command line on the Blackboard Learn server.

  1. Log in to the Blackboard Learn server with system administrator privileges.
  2. Navigate to the admin directory using the following command.


    cd /Learn directory/blackboard/tools/admin


    cd \Learn directory\blackboard\tools\admin

  3. Import the section content from the snapshot.xml file and the content packages (*.bak) using the LMSImport command and the appropriate switches. To learn more about the available switches, see LMSImport Switches for Vista 8.

    Parameters shown in brackets ([ ]) are optional.


    ./ --file=/tmp/migrateFromVista/snapshot.xml --ds=data source key --pkg_dir=/tmp/migrateFromVista --no_users --no_enrollments [--conflict_prefix prefix] [--conflict_suffix suffix] --always --i course material type

    For example:

    ./ --file=/tmp/migrateFromVista/snapshot.xml --ds=VISTA_FALL_2009 --pkg_dir=/tmp/migrateFromVista --no_users --no_enrollments --conflict_prefix Vista_ --always --i Alignments,Announcement,Assessment,Calendar


    LMSImport.cmd --file=c:\temp\migrateFromVista\snapshot.xml --ds=data source key --pkg_dir=c:\temp\migrateFromVista --no_users --no_enrollments [--conflict_prefix prefix] [--conflict_suffix suffix] --always --i course material type

    For example:

    LMSImport.cmd --file=c:\temp\migrateFromVista\snapshot.xml --ds=VISTA_FALL_2009 --pkg_dir=c:\temp\migrateFromVista --no_users --no_enrollments --conflict_prefix Vista_ --always --i Alignments,Announcement,Assessment,Calendar

    After each package is imported, a message displays listing the time that it took to import the package contents.

    After all of the packages are imported, a message displays indicating that all operations are complete and that a log file was written to the following file:





Batch Import Sections as Courses Using an Alternative to the Snapshot Tool

Blackboard Learn includes a tool for handling the import of a number of sections as courses at once as well as the import of files that exceed the default maximum upload limit. This tool will process a batch file that includes the section/course ID and the name. Accepted import file type extension is BAK as generated by Vista.

How to Create an Import Batch File

A batch file used with the batch_ImportExport tool only has two values in each row, the section/course ID and the full path to the backup package. When running an import action, the specified path and file name point to the generated backup package associated with the destination course ID.

The following are examples of the contents of a batch file for use with the batch_ImportExport tool. Files should be saved as text (TXT) files.

Import Examples

HIST101, C:\Course_archives\Archive_File_HIST101.bak

HIST301, C:\Course_archives\Archive_File_HIST301.bak

HIST401, C:\Course_archives\Archive_File_HIST401.bak

Import batch files require the exact path, including the name of the package.

How to Run the Tool

The Batch tool for running Import functions must be run from the command line. The tool must be run from the Web/app server. The command syntax is shown below.

Windows Syntax:

C:\Blackboard\apps\content-exchange\bin\batch_ImportExport.bat –f path_to_file -l delimiter -t import -n virtual_hostname

Note: Use cmd.exe to open a command line for running the tool. Running the tool from command.exe will result in errors.

UNIX Syntax:

/usr/local/blackboard/apps/content-exchange/bin/ –f path_to_file -l delimiter -t import -n virtual_hostname

The exact path to the Blackboard directory may be different depending on where Blackboard Learn was installed.

Argument and Descriptions
Argument Description
path_to_file Provide the full path to the batch file.
delimiter Provide one of the following values:
  • 1: Identifies comma (,) as the delimiter.
  • 2: Identifies semicolon (;) as the delimiter.
  • 3: Identifies TAB as the delimiter.
virtual_hostname The name of the virtual installation that the tool will run against. If there are no virtual installations, or if this argument is not given, the tool will run against the default virtual installation.

How to Customize the JVM Heap Size for the batch_ImportExport Tool

  1. Open the batch_ImportExport.bat or file for editing.
  2. Add an $OPTS or %OPTS parameter to include the customized JVM heap size. The syntax is shown below. The following example uses a JVM heap size of 6 GB, and should be changed to meet the requirements of your institution.


    OPTS="%OPTS -Xmx6g"


    OPTS="$OPTS -Xmx6g"

    Files with the BAK extension must be less than 4 GB to successfully import.